Funds shortage impedes Pakistan’s participation in FIH Nations Cup

LAHORE: Pakistan Hockey team is set to miss a golden opportunity to mark a comeback in the Olympics Games as Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has been unable to send the team to the upcoming FIH Nations Cup due to a severe lack of funds.

According to the sources, the governing body of the country’s national sports has not received any funding despite making numerous requests to the higher authorities and even the Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif.

Meanwhile, the ministry of Inter-Provincial Harmony is awaiting directions from the PM secretariat in this regard.

Earlier, premier Shehbaz had congratulated the national hockey team for securing the bronze medal in the recently concluded Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup in Malaysia.

Pakistan Hockey squad is supposed to depart for South Africa on November 22 to participate in the inaugural FIH Nations Cup, but the federation does not have adequate funds to purchase tickets and arrange accommodation for the contingent.

However, if Pakistan fails to feature in the event, FIH could take severe action against the side which includes a team ban and up to 15 thousand Euros worth of penalty.

It is important to note here that FIH Nations Cup provides a chance for promotion to the  FIH Pro League. The winning teams from the FIH Hockey Nations Cup, men’s and women’s, will be promoted to the FIH Hockey Pro League for the 2023-24 season.

Whereas, The FIH Pro League champions in 2023-24 and 2024-25 will earn direct qualification to their respective 2026 Hockey World Cups. The winners in 2025-26 and 2026-27 will then qualify for the 2028 Olympics.

The FIH Hockey Men’s Nations Cup will be contested between eight teams split into two pools from November 28 to  December 4 in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Pakistan are placed in Pool A alongside France, Ireland and hosts South Africa. Meanwhile, Canada, Japan, Korea and Malaysia are part of Pool B.

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